“The Lost Husband” hits number one on Netflix


Laney Chang

Katherine Center’s novel “The Lost Husband” was adapted into film and added to Netflix. Within three days, it claimed the number one spot.

Cameron Ederle, Staff Writer

Three days after the movie “The Lost Husband” was added to Netflix, Katherine Center (‘90), the author of the original novel, woke to discover that the film had become number one on Netflix US charts.   

Center said she was thrilled—not only because of the massive media company’s wide audience but also because the movie was getting another chance after the pandemic. 

The film was slated to be released on April 10 in over 25 theaters nationwide, just as the country went into COVID lockdown mode. Center and the film’s producer, SJS parent Vicky Wight, said they feared their years of hard work might go unnoticed.

Instead of hitting the red carpets, the movie was fast-tracked to digital platforms like Amazon Prime Video and Fandango. Even without the theatrical release to help publicize the movie, “The Lost Husband” reached top indie film on Apple. 

“It became this movie that people kept downloading and downloading, and people kept watching it,” Center said. 

Wight hoped that the film, based on Center’s 2013 novel, would land on Netflix eventually. On Aug. 9, the movie was sold to Netflix by Quiver Distribution. 

“It is so surreal—it almost doesn’t make sense to me,” said senior Anna Center, Katherine’s daughter. “It did so well that it got on Netflix, which was the craziest thing ever.”

The film held the number one position on Netflix for a week. For the rest of August, the movie remained in the top 10.

“We had a little Renaissance of love for the film,” Wight said. “The level of joy that I have for what that movie has turned into is so beyond comprehensible.”

Wight’s daughter Lyall, a freshman, said she was excited about the movie’s release onto Netflix, but was nervous about what kind of feedback the film would generate. 

After watching my mom work so hard on something for so long I wanted people to love it as I do,” Lyall said. “I would find myself analyzing the ratings but after a while, I realized that was pointless because all that mattered is that she was proud of it.”

While filming, Wight invited Center, her mother Deborah Detering (‘59) and her son Thomas, a freshman, to appear as extras in one scene of the movie. Middle School Dean of Students Robert Pringle was surprised to see his previous student and Katherine in the film, only to later find out the movie had been based on Katherine’s novel. 

Sales of “The Lost Husband” novel are up with new cover art that features a photo of Josh Duhamel, one of the movie’s leads. 

“Books have a lifespan, and “The Lost Husband” had run its course,” Center said. “But now it’s been given this second life, which is really thrilling to see.”

Center released a new book this summer, “What You Wish For,” and she is in the planning stages of her next novel. Wight is currently developing two new projects. 

“I would love to work with Katherine again,” Wight said. “I would adapt any of her books because they’re all very cinematic, and they make for great storytelling.”